New Political Landscape 2021

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New Political Landscape

Heritage Action was founded in 2010. Over the last decade, conservatives have used different strategies as power has shifted in D.C. from wide Democrat majorities in 2008, to Republicans flipping the House in 2010, Senate in 2014, and White House in 2016. It is worth remembering that conservatives found themselves in even deeper minorities in 2008 than in 2020. Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate, a 79-vote majority in the House, and the presidency. Now, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer face very narrow majorities in both chambers, and fractures within their caucuses.

House: Democrats hold 222 seats, and Republicans hold 212 (with one additional race in NY-22 outstanding). In the 2020 election, Republicans flipped 12 seats, eating away at the Democrats' majority in the House. Speaker Pelosi cannot afford many defections from her caucus if she is to pass legislation.

Senate: An effective 50-50 majority split exists. While Republicans lost seats in the 2020 elections, the Democrats only gained the majority because the president of the Senate, which is the Vice President, is given the power to break ties. The last time a 50-50 split existed (in 2001), Republicans and Democrats agreed to an organizing resolution that shared power between the two parties when it came to committee assignments, as well as things like office assignments. While it is not clear how things will play out, it is expected that Republicans and Democrats could reach a similar agreement this Congress.

While the Democrats do hold majorities in both chambers, it is important to remember they have a long road to successfully pass legislation, and pitfalls within their own caucus. This is even before our work as Sentinels to make tough liberal votes even more difficult for Democrats to take.